This I Believe

Michael - San Antonio, Texas
Entered on October 11, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I once thought that I’d be the same person as I was when I was younger. Never thought to this day I could be much stronger. Wow, I couldn’t be any more wrong. As I sat and watched T.V., watching gangsters and rappers thinking, yeah that’s what I want to be. My young, fragile mind being shaped by Hip Hop’s Culture was so easily influenced. The attitudes and certain swagger I sought after to portray and make my own. I thought to myself “It seems right I should do it.” Life seemed good, until I put myself through it. I was running the streets saying and doing as I pleased, disrespecting. I didn’t realize the image that I was reflecting.

I thought to myself; “Is this really what I want to be portrayed as?” Would my family be proud of the image that I cast? Does my wrong doings really need to be put on blast? I felt like I need to convert into a different person real fast. What do I believe? I believe there has to be a want to do better. You yourself have to want to change. For better or worse the change must come from within. What I believed, was that I could break the mold. Break the mold of dropout rates rising. Break the mold of high school kids dying. Break the mold of youth’s dreams subsiding.

We all have dreams; however my own all started with no one else but myself. I made it happen, with hard work and dedication. I wanted to shatter the mold like a wrecking ball through a brick wall using my education. A black teen with dreams? Now that’s a powerful thing. A diverse way of thinking, a diverse way of dreaming, a diverse way of succeeding. These are some of the most precious treasures we have in the world. I believe we all have a chance to improve our lives. What are you going to do about yours?